Every model which is endowed with the Parmigiani Fleurier oval logo is characterised by a high level of quality and meticulous attention to detail inside and out, but their latest piece, the Tecnica Ombre Blanche is as complex as it is aesthetically perfect.
Parmigiani Fleurier Tecnica Ombre Blanche – Enthusiasm and Self-belief
In 1976, despite the fact that the quartz revolution was sweeping devastation throughout the Swiss watch industry, Michel Parmigiani opened his own workshop in Couvet fuelled by an enthusiasm and self-belief symbolic of a young man who is newly qualified in his chosen profession. He concentrated on restoration, a most challenging and rewarding way to gain experience in the traditions of watchmaking, but he also created unique new pieces for collectors who recognised his skilful aptitude for mechanical complications. A chance encounter with the Sandoz family who entrusted Michel with the upkeep of their rare collection of pocket watches and automatons would eventually lead to the foundation of Michel’s eponymous watch brand in 1976. Although the Parmigiani Fleurier company has been grown organically, their achievements in such a short period of time have been astounding and include many World Firsts, in-house calibres and a magnificent portfolio of timepieces.
Parmigiani Fleurier Tecnica Ombre Blanche – A Complex Synopsis
The Tecnica Ombre Blanche bears witness to Parmigiani’s heritage of high-complication timepieces and it does so in style. The piece features an über-complex synopsis of complications, a minute repeater, a tourbillon and a perpetual calendar all enclosed within a slender rose gold case. Even the dial which has been created using traditional Grand Feu enamel has been given a sophisticated twist by employing the champlevé method.
There are three subdials, the date indication is at the 12 o’clock location, the days are at the 3 o’clock and the months are indicated at the 9 o’clock position with the generous tourbillon taking up the 6 o’clock position. A neat layout is achieved by integrating the leap year indicator with the months and the power reserve within the date dial. Diminutive numerals placed right at the edge of the dial allow for plenty of exquisite empty dial space around the indications.
Parmigiani Fleurier Tecnica Ombre Blanche – An Ingenious Mechanism
The addition of a minute repeater brings with it its own set of challenges which all have to be overcome – the micro-mechanics are tricky to assemble and adjust, demanding the attention of a most expert and patient watchmaker, attention must be given to the acoustics and, the power supply must remain constant despite the surge of energy needed to activate the system. Parmigiani overcame all these difficulties and also added a new element. The slider normally found on the case side of a minute repeater watch has been replaced with a mechanism to allow activation via a knurled bezel ring thus the profile of the case remains uninterrupted. This new device required a re-think with regard to water resistance as this is such a large area compared to that which is found on a slider-activated mechanism. With a trio of complications and a new ingenious activation mechanism all enclosed in a watch case measuring just 13mm in height, Parmigiani prove once again that they are Masters of Watchmaking Complications. The Tecnica Ombre Blanche is a limited edition of 5 pieces and price is on request.